What better way to kick off a movie year than with an idiotic comedy dumped into January by studio executives who know they have a dud in their hands? Who isn’t thrilled by the pairing of Jerry O’Connell as a dumb New York hairstylist and Anthony Anderson as a fat, Black and loud hustler? Not running to the theatre yet? How about Christopher Walken swallowing his pride and taking Jerry Bruckheimer’s paycheck to play yet another caricature of a Mafioso? Did I mention that this is cinéaste David McNally’s follow-up to Coyote Ugly?
Still not convinced that this is worth ten bucks? Get this: the flick’s titular star is a CGI kangaroo who spends most of the film wearing a Brooklyn jacket, running around Australia and who, in one glorious fantasy sequence, gets to break-dance and rap! Kangaroo Jack is just the kind of pseudo-hip, in-your-face, proactive character a focus group would come up with, Poochie-style. You know the expression “get busy”? Well this Kangaroo gets bi-zay!! And then there’s camel-fart jokes, Estella Warren in a wet T-shirt, obvious pop culture references, the usual clichés about the Land Down Under (“G’day, mate”), a drunk Aussie pilot with an intelligible accent and unnecessary violence… This movie’s got everything!
I’ll grant “Kangaroo Jack” this: like all of Jerry Bruckheimer’s productions, it’s got dynamic visuals and a rather catchy soundtrack mixing current radio hits into a Dr. Dre-with-didgeridoo-style score. The flick’s dreck, but its dopiness and the homoerotic camaraderie between O’Connell and Anderson are somewhat enjoyable. Some critics are already calling this the year’s worst film, but I didn’t find it all that horrible. It’s bad, very very bad, but in its own goofy, retarded way, “Kangaroo Jack” can be oddly compelling.